It’s taken me years to say this openly, but here it goes: I love NASCAR.
When I tell people I’m a lifelong NASCAR fan, I usually get a funny look from them in response. The stereotype is that stock car racing is for rednecks, folks from small towns with small minds who like getting drunk in the sun and yelling “Woo!” at cars that turn left.
But that isn’t the case. Twice a year the cars turn right, when they go on road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
And lots of different kinds of people like NASCAR. I’ve met people from around the world at tracks, and in general race fans are friendly, intelligent, generous people. There are some lame fans, but that’s typical of any sports fanbase.
And people like NASCAR for a variety of reasons. Some fans get into the sport cos they love competition, which NASCAR has plenty of–between drivers, teammates, man and machine. And some people were just born into families that have a lot of car-related hobbies. That’s what happened to me.
The Sundays of my childhood were spent watching the weekly NASCAR and NHRA races with my dad on stolen cable. My dad liked to come up with plans for our own race team. Dad would be my crew chief, obviously. He would also help the sponsors make my commercials, since he came up with awesome ideas like “Just as you cross the finish line the camera cuts to inside the car, and you lift your visor and say ‘Maybe it’s Maybelline!’ with a wink to the camera. Then it cuts to you doing a burnout! You can get free mascara or whatever!”. Free mascara! My dad was a genius.